France Admits There Is ‘Real Collusion’ Between People-smugglers and Migrant ‘Rescue’ NGOs

france
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images

MILAN (AP) — France’s interior minister says some aid groups operating in the Mediterranean Sea sometimes act like accomplices to human traffickers.

Minister Christophe Castaner pointed at “a real collusion between smugglers and some NGOs,” including through phone contacts to “facilitate the migrants’ departure from Libyan coasts in appalling conditions.”

The comments at a G-7 meeting in Paris are similar to those of his Italian counterpart, Matteo Salvini, who reaffirmed his hard-line stance on immigration.

Castaner, a member of French President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-European government, said he has clear political differences with Salvini, the leader of Italy’s anti-migrant League party, but stressed that both countries were now cooperating on migration issues.

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